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Colorado Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics

Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in crashes on Colorado’s roadways. As legislators, law enforcement professionals, and others work to bring this number down to zero, statistics are a key tool used to see how successful these efforts are. Knowing these statistics can also help you as a driver and passenger. If you know when accidents are most common, what causes most of them, and where they are most likely to occur, you can plan your drives accordingly.

If you or someone you love is injured in a motor vehicle collision in Colorado, you may be entitled to fair compensation for your losses. Find out now by calling Colorado Accident Attorneys at 303-567-7981. Our law firm’s personal injury lawyers serve Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Aurora and Boulder.

How Common Are Accidents in Colorado?

The Colorado Department of Transportation maintains a sizable database of information about traffic accidents throughout the state. There were 93,015 crashes in 2022, and the vast majority happened in just a handful of counties. Adams, Denver, and El Paso Counties had the highest accident numbers, followed by Jefferson and Arapahoe. Douglas, Weld, and Larimer had slightly fewer crashes. The rest of the state had minimal traffic accidents in comparison.

Accidents also tend to be clustered at certain times. Crashes are more prevalent on weekdays than weekends, and the hours of 7:00 to 9:00 A.M. see a significant number of crashes. As you may expect, the window from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. also has more than its fair share of accidents.

Causes of Vehicle Accidents in Colorado

The data provided by the Department of Transportation includes information on the first harmful event in a collision and what errors led to a collision. For the majority of crashes, the first harmful event was a front-to-rear impact. As is the case across the United States, rear-end accidents are the most common type of collision. The second most common type of collision in Colorado is a front-to-side impact, which may include T-bone and sideswipe accidents.

Data for 2022 tracks contributing driver actions and contributing driver factors. Amongst crashes that did track driver actions, the most common causes of collisions included, in order:

  • Careless driving
  • Failing to yield right of way
  • Following too closely
  • Lane violations
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Failing to stop at signals

Factors contributing to collisions included:

  • Did not look or did not see obstacle in path
  • Driver inexperience
  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted by something in the car
  • Unfamiliar with the area
  • Age or driver’s general driving ability
  • Asleep or fatigued

The Department of Transportation reports that non-motorist actions contributed to a small amount of collisions in 2022. These accidents were caused by people entering an intersection, people crossing outside of a marked intersection, pedestrians failing to obey traffic signs, and people darting or dashing in front of moving vehicles.

Local Data

Many municipalities and counties track their own accident data to better understand trends, make legislative decisions regarding speed limits and other crash factors, and plan public safety efforts. In Denver, 82 people died in traffic accidents in 2022. As a result of increasing crash numbers, the city changed its default speed limit from 25 MPH to 20 MPH. Boulder County has undertaken similar initiatives in an effort to bring traffic deaths to zero. Per boulder data, there were six fatalities from January 1, 2023 to May 2023.

Fort Collins has done extensive work tracking and researching traffic accidents. They note that accident numbers increased steadily in the years leading up to 2017, with fatal accidents remaining fairly stable. Their data shows that certain vulnerable groups are overrepresented in severe crashes. These groups include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Of these three, bicyclists’ crash numbers far exceed those of motorcyclists and pedestrians. However, motorcyclists were the largest source of fatalities amongst these three groups.

Goals for Colorado Road Safety

The state of Colorado has lofty goals for its accident numbers in years to come. The FHWA collects data on accidents and if they are in line with the state’s five-year targets. Unfortunately, this data shows that fatalities have increased significantly since the current reporting period started in 2014. As a result, the five-year average for 2020 is significantly higher than the five-year target. The five-year average in 2020 was 621.4, and the target by 2022 is 597. Similar trends are seen among the state’s fatality rate, number of serious injuries, and serious injury rate.

Get the Help You Deserve

After a motor vehicle accident, your finances could take a huge hit. Medical bills, unpaid time away from work, and other expenses add up quickly. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you need to recover. Just give us a call at 303-567-7981 or send us a message online to get started.